" ITREALMS: Hacked 500m Yahoo emails: What you should do

Friday, September 23, 2016

Hacked 500m Yahoo emails: What you should do

As the news of some 500 million Yahoo electronic mail (email) accounts hacked in 2014, continue to trend, experts have proffered some immediate solutions including the usage of ‘Yahoo Account Key’ reports ITRealms.

According to some security experts from Yahoo, every account holder has been advised to take three distinct actions.

These actions, ITRealms gathered include that every Yahoo account holder should immediately change their password, especially if they have not done some since 2014.

They also advised that account holders to change their security questions and answers relating to their password on Yahoo.

Further, ITRealms gathered that experts canvassed Yahoo account holders change other accounts with same information if any and mostly same with their Yahoo account details.

The company further recommended that users avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails and that they be cautious of unsolicited communications that ask for personal information. 

Additionally, Yahoo asks users to consider using Yahoo Account Key, a simple authentication tool that eliminates the need to use a password altogether. 

Meanwhile Yahoo is pointing accusing finger on government, although it did not mention which of the country’s government is reference, but insisted that users should change their password as soon as possible.

According to a press statement made available to ITRealms by Yahoo Incorporated quoted the chief information security officer, Bob Lord, as saying that a recent investigation by Yahoo! confirmed that a copy of certain user account information were stolen from the company's network in late 2014 by what it believes is a state-sponsored actor. 

ITRealms was also informed that the account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords, most of which were with bcrypt and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. 

The ongoing investigation, Yahoo said, suggests that stolen information did not include unprotected passwords, payment card data, or bank account information; payment card data and bank account information are not stored in the system that the investigation has found to be affected. 

“Based on the ongoing investigation, Yahoo believes that information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen and the investigation has found no evidence that the state-sponsored actor is currently in Yahoo's network. Yahoo is working closely with law enforcement on this matter,” part of the press statement read. 

Yahoo, therefore said, its notifying potentially affected users and has taken steps to secure their accounts. 

“These steps include invalidating unencrypted security questions and answers so that they cannot be used to access an account and asking potentially affected users to change their passwords. Yahoo is also recommending that users who haven't changed their passwords since 2014 do so,” the company said.

Advising users to review their online accounts for suspicious activity and to change their password and security questions and answers for any other accounts on which they use the same or similar information used for their Yahoo account.

ITRealms recalls that online intrusions and thefts by state-sponsored actors have become increasingly common across the technology industry. 

Just as Yahoo and other companies have launched programmes to detect and notify users when a company strongly suspects that a state-sponsored actor has targeted an account. Since the inception of Yahoo's programme in December 2015, independent of the recent investigation, approximately 10,000 users have received such a notice.

Nenye Dom/GEE
ITREALMS ... everything news digitally!

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